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Small Business IT

Your business depends on IT Systems on a daily basis. As a small business owner, you should step back, observe, evaluate and understand how your business depends on IT. Next, compare your IT infrastructure to your IT strategy, if you have one. If you are unsure of that strategy or don’t have one, you should develop one that fits your business needs. It could be as simple as answering these questions as a basis and determining what you need. Or, you could let SMT assist you in evaluating your IT infrastructure.

  • Do you rely on IT to perform duties within your business?
  • Does IT garner the attention and respect it should in regards to your business success?
  • Do you know who to call when problems arise?
  • Do you have someone you can call at any time to assist with general computer usage issues?
  • Do you have comprehensive lists of all your service providers, accounts and contacts?
  • Do you have comprehensive lists of all your software licenses and backup CD/DVDs?
  • Are you paying too much for your existing service providers?
  • Do you know what services you can receive from your providers?
  • Are you systems fully protected from viruses and malware?
  • Are your employees trained to recognize suspicious email?
  • Are you actively backing up your company data/files?
  • Can you get up and running after a catastrophic event?

System Management Technologies, Inc. (SMT) is a small IT company created as a result of answering many types of business questions like these. During the 1990’s, SMT’s owners worked in the IT department of a Texaco Refinery where many of these IT strategies were formulated. The owners 60+ years of experience has allowed them to see many different situations that put them at the forefront of understanding the requirements of many businesses, large and small, especially with respect to IT. The ongoing mission is to ensure that the customer base is securely operating a modern infrastructure that allows all their employees to succeed in using IT to support the business.

As a Small Business owner, or any business owner, you want your employees to have the tools necessary to perform their job duties. When it comes to IT, this is the same case. You should have computers that work day in and day out. Your computers should be up to date in regards to Windows patches and updates as well as other software updates. Your anti-virus solution should be up to date and well supported. All these items have positive effects on your business if followed. Keeping all systems current with software versions and patches reduce the possibility of virus or malware attacks and infection.

In any size business, employees should focus their abilities on the tasks where their skills apply best. Having Non-IT employees or “a guy” handle these tasks may not be in the best interest of your company. Having SMT completely manage your IT functions will result in less downtime of your systems. SMT will proactively monitor your systems and will maintain the latest supported patches and software versions. SMT will have a complete picture of your IT infrastructure and be able to provide support quickly as we will know your environment. No discovery of the environment will be necessary before starting a support call.

IT systems, small or large, should be properly designed and implemented using business quality equipment appropriate for specific duties. If these systems are maintained, secured and monitored; critical support calls decline and the business begins to work without concerning itself with the computer systems. At that point, SMT will focus on system maintenance and monitoring. SMT will receive the occasional support call but will mostly receive requests on how to use the software at hand, how to do a mail merge, how to add a printer, how to save as PDF, how to send the document via email, etc. This is when your business IT infrastructure is performing as planned.

Download this Exective Summary in PDF Format.

IT Infrastructure Components

Facilities
  • Single/Multiple Location(s)
  • Inter-Office Connectivity
  • Are there more than one location (Office or Owner’s Home Network)?
  • Will the business network and resources span locations?
  • Do you have or want a business presence on the internet?
  • Do you send and receive email for your business?
In today’s business world, an Internet presence is important.
  • Business Domain Name
  • Business Web Site
  • Business Email Addresses
  • Facebook Page
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Internet Sales
Hardware
  • Server(s)
  • Desktop/Laptop Computer(s)
  • Tablets/Smart Phones
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Scanners
  • Premise Wiring
  • Wireless Access Points
  • Routers/Firewalls
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
  • Is the hardware supported under any warranty or maintenance agreement?
  • Is the hardware appropriate quality for business use?
  • Does the hardware support the latest Operating Systems or updates?
  • Does any hardware create a security risk?
Software
  • Windows Server
  • Windows Workstation
  • Microsoft Office
  • Windows Update
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • 3rd Party Applications
  • Is the software supported under any warranty or maintenance agreement?
  • Is the quality of your software appropriate for business use?
  • Is the software supported by ongoing security patches or updates?
  • Does any software create a security risk?
  • Are you planning for any software that may be reaching EOL?
Services
  • Internet/Telephony
  • Email/Web Hosting
  • Domain Name Registration
  • Anti-SPAM
  • Anti-Virus
  • VOIP
  • Cloud Backup
  • Are your service providers cost effective?
  • Are you getting a good response time for issues or outages?
  • Are you subscribed to a business service or residential service?
Security
  • User Logon Ids
  • File Access Permissions
  • Internet/Firewall
  • Email/Web Hosting
  • Digital Certificates
    • Server (http, email)
    • Users (secure email)
  • Anti-SPAM
  • Anti-Virus
  • Are you exposed to internet attacks?
  • Are you actively protecting your computer systems?
  • Are you minimizing your attack risks?
  • Are your employees trained on email phishing, validating senders, identifying suspicious email, etc.?
Disaster Recovery
  • Backup and Restore of data
    • External Locations
    • External Services (Cloud)
    • External Devices (Memory Sticks)
  • Loss of all equipment
    • Equipment List
    • Software List, Source and Licenses
    • Configuration Settings
  • IT Insurance
  • Plan for Complete Recovery
  • Plan for Temporary Operations
    • Location
    • Essential Hardware
    • Essential Software List, Source and Licenses
  • Testing of backups
  • Do you need a disaster recovery plan?
  • Is your business dependent on IT services?
  • If you lose all your IT equipment, can you get back to business quickly?
Support
  • Server Management
    • Active Directory
    • DHCP Service
    • DNS
    • Exchange Server
    • SQL Server/DBA
    • Terminal Server
    • Remote Access Server (VPN)
    • Symantec SEP
    • WAN/LAN/VLAN/Guest
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Scanners
  • Services
  • Office Application Support
  • Remote Access/Support
  • Custom Programming/Scripting
  • Application Customization
  • Is your hardware and software supported by the manufacturer?
  • Are your service providers providing the support you need?
  • Are your Service Providers providing the level of support you want?
  • Do you have or need someone to ask general software support questions; such as adding a network printer, how to scan a document, or do a mail merge?
Service Accounts and Licenses
  • Internet Service Provider Account
  • Domain Name Registrant Account
  • Email/Web Hosting Account
  • Router/Firewall/Network Switch Accounts
  • Hardware Provider Accounts (Dell, HP, etc.)
  • Internal Server Administrator Accounts
  • Local Computer Administrator Accounts
  • Support Contracts, Contact Information and Terms
  • Do you have a comprehensive list of all of your administrator or account numbers, contact information, user names, and passwords?
Current IT Support
  • Do you have a Service Provider?
  • If so, what are they doing for you?
  • If so, what are they not doing for you?
  • Do you have someone internal helping with IT?
  • If so, is that effective and an efficient use of their time?
Our Plan
  • Business Quality hardware with warranty/extended warranty
  • Business Quality software with security updates and patches
  • Microsoft Small Business Server -OR- Active Directory/File Server
  • Computers and Users are members of Active Directory
  • Users are member of Security Group
  • Users logon to the Computers using Active Directory Accounts
  • Data is protected using Security Group Permissions
  • All Data is stored on the File Server for backup and disaster recovery purposes
  • Workstation Computers are data access points
    • Are not data storage devices
    • Will not be backed up
    • Can be reloaded with Windows and Applications at any time without affecting business operations
    • Can be replaced in case of failure, performance liability or age
  • Computers are protected by groupware Anti-Virus such as Symantec SEP
  • Computers are configured to apply Updates from Microsoft
  • Users are not allowed to manage computers
    • Users will be “Users” only
    • User mode restriction reduces virus infection
    • User mode restriction prevents unauthorized software use
    • User mode restriction reduces self-inflicted system issues
  • Computers are managed using IT Works to Install Windows and All Software
  • Computers are monitored for current patches and updates
  • Computers are monitored for current anti-virus software and definitions
  • Monitor Cloud data backups
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